Attendance and penalty fines in the Autumn term
The government’s initial return to school statement about attendance fines, for parents whose children did not return to school, caused concern amongst many parents of children with SEND both locally and nationally.
If your child’s lack of attendance at school as a result of the Covid situation, is causing concern and the school is talking about issuing a penalty notice, please be aware that in a letter to schools, Hertfordshire County Council’s (HCC) direction to schools, stated:
“We (HCC) do not envisage that use of penalty notices to enforce attendance where absence is related to Covid-19 will be appropriate in the majority of cases in the autumn term; and ask you identify pupils who are reluctant or anxious about returning, and to develop plans for those pupils who have been persistently absent before or not engaged in education during the pandemic. These plans should/could include the use of existing pastoral support, catch up and pupil premium funding and other services to support attendance. Schools should also contact their Local Authority Attendance Officer early on where you have concerns for advice, guidance and support on this matter.
HCC said that ”schools should discuss any issues with their senior leadership team and the Local Authority Attendance team, and should any penalty notice application be received from school without a conversation with the Local Authority Attendance Team will not process it.”
For more support and information you can approach the SENDIASS service which has a section on it’s website about Attendance and Exclusions along with contact details.
Their phone line 01992 555847 operates term time Monday to Friday 9.30am to 3pm and in the school holidays on reduced hours.
Covid summer food fund for Free School Meals
Schools will have now received all the guidance to administer free school meal vouchers for families.
All schools must sign up for it and should be in touch with parents about getting the vouchers.
You can check online to find out more about how the scheme is organised and if your child/ren are eligible for Free School Meals.
There is more government guidance here.
Support for A' Level and GCSE students
For young people receiving their results this year it is likely to be more challenging than usual.
Whether young people’s results are better or worse than expected it’s not too late to rethink plans and to make the most of the opportunities available. Support is available from YC Hertfordshire’s team of Personal Advisers who are available to offer information, advice and guidance on going to college or sixth form, finding a job or apprenticeship or undertaking training.
Young people can text ‘RESULTS’ to 07860 065173 with their name, date of birth and details of the school or college they attend. One of the Personal Advisers will then be in touch as soon as possible. Alternatively, young people can call 01992 588220.
You can also email YCH.LDD@hertfordshire.gov.uk
Our Ed Psych line is still open
School’s out, but we’re still here for you.
The educational psychology advice line is open over the summer holidays.
If you'd like any advice or support at all, contact us on 01992 588 574 (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 2pm - 4.30pm and Weds 10am - 4.30pm).